Beyond Bitcoin: YouGov/FranShares Survey Finds Strong Interest in Alternative Assets

Millennials, Gen Z gravitate to franchises, farmland and collectibles

CHICAGO, Aug. 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Younger investors don’t expect Lambo money. They’re not obsessed with crypto. But they are impatient, and they aren’t satisfied with traditional portfolios of stocks and bonds. They’re looking for alternatives.

Those are some of the conclusions of a new YouGov/FranShares survey on alternative investments such as Bitcoin, NFTs, collectibles, farmland and franchises.

The study, conducted from May 5th-8th 2023, polled 1,008 US investors with $10,000 or more in investable assets (excluding 401Ks). It found high overall awareness of alternatives, with 88% of respondents saying they had either heard of them or invested in them already. More than half of respondents currently invested in alternative assets (53%) said they had increased their portfolio allocation to alternative investments in the past year (i.e., since May 2022).

Younger investors (Millennials and Gen Z) led the way in embracing alternative investments. They were also more open to new investment platforms and non-traditional sources of financial guidance than older investors (Gen X and Baby Boomers).

Among the findings:

  • Younger investors were even more interested in alternative business assets such as real estate, farmland, venture capital and franchises (84% Gen Z*, 83% Millennials), than in digital assets such as Bitcoin (81% Gen Z*, 80% Millennials) and NFTs (73% Gen Z, 70% Millennials).
  • Most younger investors (53% Gen Z*, 60% Millennials) said they were aware of and used platforms offering fractional ownership of business investments. Only 19% of Gen X and 2% of Baby Boomer investors said the same.
  • Younger investors had shorter investment horizons than older ones; the largest group expected to hold assets for 2-5 years (47% Gen Z*, 56% Millennials vs. 30% Gen X, 34% Baby Boomers), whereas the largest group of older investors expected to hold investments for 5 years or more (64% Gen X, 53% Baby Boomers vs. 25% Gen Z*, 24% Millennials).
  • Almost 1 in 2 (47%) of Gen Z and over 3 in 10 (31%) of Millennials relied on social media to research investments; 9% of Gen X and 2% of Baby Boomer respondents said the same.
  • Younger investors were more likely to invest in products and services they use (78% Gen Z*, 81% Millennials, 67% Gen X, 42% for Baby Boomers) and use products they invest in (75% Gen Z*, 81% Millennials, 59% Gen X, 39% Baby Boomers).

At the same time, younger investors were more conservative than their YOLO reputation would suggest. The largest proportion of younger investors expected returns between 7% and 9% in 2023 (33% Gen Z*, 36% Millennials) — only a bit more than older investors, who expected returns between 4% and 6% (34% Gen X, 43% Baby Boomers).

Older investors delivered surprises too. While younger investors were more likely to show interest in alternatives, older investors who are currently invested in alternative assets were more likely to have invested 25% or more of their portfolio allocated in the alternative category in 2022 (30% Gen X*, 23% Baby Boomers*).

Respondents gave traditional reasons for considering alternative business investments, including portfolio diversification (42%), strong long-term returns (41%) and passive income (36%).

“Squeezed by financial crises, a once-in-a-generation pandemic and a breakdown in traditional institutions, it’s no surprise investors are looking beyond stocks and bonds,” said FranShares CEO Kenny Rose. “Savvy money managers have long known that alternatives like farmland, collectibles and franchises have the potential to deliver returns in good times and bad. Older investors use them to protect against inflation. But the real sea change is coming from tech-savvy younger investors, who are embracing techniques like crowdfunding and fractional ownership to access asset classes — and sources of passive income — that used to be reserved for the 1%.”

To download the full report, visit the FranShares website here.

About FranShares

FranShares is democratizing access to franchise investing, offering a diversified portfolio of investments with minimum outlay as low as $500. Founded by best-selling franchise expert Kenny Rose, and backed by leading investors including Chicago Ventures (others named in the news), FranShares has partnerships with more than 500 franchise brands throughout the United States.

Media Contact
Chris Ulbrich
415 848 9175

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,008 US investors (aged 18+) with 10k or greater in investable assets (excluding 401Ks). Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th - 8th May 2023. The survey was carried out online.

*Low base size